IBJNews

Fewer Indiana voters casting early ballots this year

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

After a strong start, fewer Indiana residents are taking advantage of early voting for this year's election than in 2008, when a record quarter of all Hoosiers voters cast ballots before Election Day.

The Indiana secretary of state's office said more than 361,000 early ballots were cast around the state through Tuesday — about 10,000 fewer ballots than had been cast a week before the 2008 election.

But county offices around the state remained busy this week as residents lined up to cast absentee ballots ahead of Monday's noon deadline to vote in person before Election Day.

Early voting was strong in Hamilton County, a Republican stronghold just north of Indianapolis where 20,209 people had cast ballots by Tuesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, the county had logged about 500 more early votes than at the same time in 2008, said county election administrator Kathy Richardson.

Her office had seen a strong start to early voting in the first week of October, but that was followed by a lull. Richardson said it wasn't until last Thursday that lines started to form and since then voters have waited up to an hour in lines to cast their ballots in the presidential, governor's, U.S. Senate and other races.

"I think a lot of the people are a little tired of the advertising and a lot of them think once they've voted they don't have to pay attention to it anymore," Richardson said. "And they also know it's going to be busy on Election Day and they're trying to get ahead of it."

In Lake County, a Democratic stronghold that's the state's second-most populous county, more than 24,000 early ballots had been received as of Tuesday.

Sally LaSota, the administrative director of the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration, said that in the past week lines have formed at times at the county's six early voting sites.

"It's starting to pick up. People are lining up to vote and it's a real convenience for a lot of them," she said.

Secretary of state's office spokeswoman Valerie Kroeger said that while a state law first allowed Indiana residents to cast in-person early ballots in 2003, many people are still learning that it's a voting option for them, or discovering that doing so allows them to avoid big Election Day lines.

"It's amazing just how many people say 'I'm going to vote early' and act like it's something new, but it's not," she said.

Early votes are largely ballots cast in person at county clerk offices or absentee ballots mailed in, but voters have other options, including casting ballots before traveling election boards. In 2008, about 662,000 of the 2.8 million Indiana residents who voted in the general election cast their ballots before Election Day.

That was about 24 percent of all who voted that year, a new state record.

LaSota said that while nearly 37,000 Lake County residents cast early votes for 2008's general election, it's too early to know whether this year's early vote will approach or surpass that.

In Marion County, the state's most populous county, nearly 37,000 early ballots had been received as of Tuesday, nearly 4,500 fewer early ballots than had been received by the same date in 2008, said Angie Nussmeyer, a spokeswoman for the county clerk's office.

She said requests for mailed-in absentee ballots have recently been down about 25 percent compared with the final days before the 2008 election.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Eva you right!!
    republicans don't believe in real fact checker!! they belive that money will buy them the big ticket to the White House, so voter suppression is another way to control and undermine the real winner. if you are smart vote democrat.
  • voter suppression is no joke
    I think voter suppression is not funny no question that republican party is working really hard to make the rest of Americans hard to vote!! what happen with you have the right to vote? they closing earlier this year, and then, so if you work 12 hrs. days and weekends you have to work too, I guess they said, well that's too bad, shame on you republicans,
  • Access is the issue
    4 years ago I voted early because on my day off I drove by one of the satellite polls and there was not a line. I stopped in and was finished quickly. This year no such option, I must head downtown to the City County Building. So I’ll just wait and go to my local precinct and vote on Election Day. Never mind I’ll have limited time since I start work at 5:00 and often work until 5:00 PM. It will probably be a mess since my poll was moved to a smaller place with more precincts gathered in the same close quarters. But hey anything to save a dime for the taxpayers eh? Wait wait smaller government equals smaller polls and smaller choices of when and where to vote NOW I get it!
  • Voter Suppression in Marion County
    Early voting is down in Marion County because the Marion County Republicans and their puppet Dietrick only allow voting at the most inconvenient of locations....City Hall. Great for Republican's chances of winning, but really bad for democracy. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    • vote
      My problem is.... So many companies are saying if romney wins they will do this and that. This is wrong. They are buying votes to get what they want they should all be prosecuted.
    • I have my theory.
      Those die hard Republicans are not happy with what they are offered (if they vote their usual GOP)and they are just putting it off-----maybe thinking it will go away. Sorry, it won't. Just vote for the Democrats and know that you are doing the right thing, and get it over with.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Liberals do not understand that marriage is not about a law or a right ... it is a rite of religous faith. Liberals want "legal" recognition of their homosexual relationship ... which is OK by me ... but it will never be classified as a marriage because marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. You can gain / obtain legal recognition / status ... but most people will not acknowledge that 2 people of the same sex are married. It's not really possible as long as marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

      2. That second phrase, "...nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens..." is the one. If you can't understand that you lack a fundamental understanding of the Constitution and I can't help you. You're blind with prejudice.

      3. Why do you conservatives always go to the marrying father/daughter, man/animal thing? And why should I keep my sexuality to myself? I see straights kissy facing in public all the time.

      4. I just read the XIV Amendment ... I read where no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property ... nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens ... I didn't see anything in it regarding the re-definition of marriage.

      5. I worked for Community Health Network and the reason that senior leadership left is because they were not in agreement with the way the hospital was being ran, how employees were being treated, and most of all how the focus on patient care was nothing more than a poster to stand behind. Hiring these analyst to come out and tell people who have done the job for years that it is all being done wrong now...hint, hint, get rid of employees by calling it "restructuring" is a cheap and easy way out of taking ownership. Indiana is an "at-will" state, so there doesn't have to be a "reason" for dismissal of employment. I have seen former employees that went through this process lose their homes, cars, faith...it is very disturbing. The patient's as well have seen less than disireable care. It all comes full circle.

      ADVERTISEMENT